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Traffic Stop For Cell Phone Violation Leads To $1 Million Marijuana Bust

REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter

Police pulling over a man for a cell phone violation ended up uncovering more than 300 pounds of illicit marijuana and a suitcase full of cash in California Saturday.

An officer with the California Highway Patrol spotted a man driving while using his cell phone on Interstate 580. As the officer attempted to pull over the car, another vehicle cut him off, in an effort to distract the police. Authorities stopped both vehicles and found more than 200 pounds of marijuana stashed in the cars, reports CBS San Francisco.

After further investigation, officers were led to a storage unit in Alameda County, where they found 100 pounds of marijuana. Officers also discovered a suitcase containing $1,030,000 in cash and equipment used to grow the plant.

“So basically a car stop for a cell phone violation led to the recovery of 325 pounds of marijuana, $1,030,000 and on top of that some marijuana equipment,” Ray Kelly, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, told CBS San Francisco. “Marijuana continues to be a very, very lucrative business.”

Police in Minnesota recently had a similar encounter during a routine traffic stop. Three men from St. Paul, Minnesota in a Ford truck were arrested March 1 after police pulled them over for an obstructed license plate. A Minnesota State Patrol trooper became suspicious after speaking with the driver while the other two men stood outside the car.

Police had the truck towed and searched, discovering 18 large duffel bags each containing roughly 25 shrink-wrapped packages of marijuana. The total haul weighed roughly 570 pounds, which police estimate has a street value of $1.75 million.

Despite increasing numbers of states passing legalization laws across the country, authorities say marijuana continues to be the primary drug they find during roadway busts.

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